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Essay: Simon as a Christ Figure (Lord of the Flies)

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  • Subject area(s): Literature essays
  • Reading time: 3 minutes
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  • Published: June 17, 2021*
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  • Words: 743 (approx)
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  • Tags: Lord of the Flies essays
  • Simon as a Christ Figure (Lord of the Flies)
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Boys will never be just boys, according to the renowned author William Golding. In Golding’s renowned allegorical novel Lord of the Flies, Simon enters the story as a plane-wrecked schoolboy like every other character in the book. However, Golding later uses Simon as a key figure representing Jesus, set apart from the boys who are split between civilization and savagery. (arg 1) (arg 2) (arg 3) Simon’s character was intentionally used by Golding to portray Christ in his allegory in response to Peterkin of Coral Island.

(arg 1: role during death) Although not nailed to a cross, Simon’s death and the aftermath displays his representation as Christ in Golding\’s novel. After having a subconscious conversation with the beast, which took its form as the sacrificial sow, “…Simon thought…the beast was harmless and horrible; and the news much reach the boys as soon as possible” (Golding 147). Similar to how Jesus died on the cross in an attempt to deliver the truth, Simon is murdered by the same boys he was trying to convey the truth of the beast to. “Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon’s dead body moved out towards the sea” (Golding 154). The halo Golding implied with the “bright creatures” around the boy’s body was clearly meant to imitate how Jesus is often depicted (in art and literature) with a ring of light. The author also symbolizes baptism and purification by mentioning how Simon’s body moved out to water, in likeness to how churches actually carry out baptisms for its members. Simon clearly was meant to represent Christ by his death.

(arg 2: confrontation of evil) Golding also demonstrates Simon as Jesus when he shows Simon’s Christ-like actions confronting fear and the beast within. When Ralph asks the boys,“‘How could anyone be wandering about the forest at night? Was anyone [out during the night]?’”, the boys are skeptical at the idea of doing such an action risking facing the beast, but it is revealed that Simon indeed explored at night not minding any idea of a monster. “There was a long pause while the assembly grinned at the thought of anyone going out in the darkness. Then Simon stood up and Ralph looked at him in astonishment” (Golding 85). Simon’s boldness at night displays how he does not have fear for the beast, which represents the evil and cruelty of human nature- comparable to how Jesus was not daunted by lucifer and humans themselves. Golding’s concept of Simon’s Christ-like bravery is highlighted once more when Simon actually confronts the beast (the Lord of the Flies) face-to-face. The beast within Simon took form as a pig (the Lord of the Files,) which was “…in front of Simon, the Lord of the Flies hung on his stick and grinned…Simon gave up and looked back; saw the white teeth and black eyes, the blood-his gaze was held by that ancient, inescapable recognition” (Golding 138). Again, Golding describes Simon’s struggle with evil similar to how Jesus confronted the devil on a mountaintop in the Bible.

(arg 3: acts of kindness) Finally, Golding exhibits Simon’s role as Jesus when he uses the character to portray kind actions in likeness to that of Christ’s. When Jack abuses his power as the head of the hunters and refuses to give Piggy meat, Simon “…sitting between the twins and Piggy, wiped his mouth and shoved a piece of meat over to the rocks to Piggy, who grabbed it. The twins giggled and Simon lowered his face in shame” (Golding 74). Even though sharing his food with Piggy meant being laughed at in addition to having less food, Simon chose to give up his meat for the sake of Piggy. Golding specifically used this scene as an analogy to Jesus, who sacrificed His life for the sake of His followers, despite the ridicule he faced from the Romans. Golding continues this analogy between Simon and Jesus when Ralph can almost hear Simon’s voice even after his murder. “The savage peered into the obscurity beneath the thicket…Ralph was looking straight into the savage’s eyes. Don’t scream. You’ll get back” (Golding 199).

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